With all the touring that we as the Newcastle Creative Network team have been engaged in of the beautiful, picturesque and richly green mountainous country of Northern Ireland, I (Dumisani Radebe) decided to capture the awesome story of the village of Ard Glass and its relation to art and the television series that is on everybody’s lips – Game of Thrones.
I have been given the titanic opportunity to mingle and to try and paint a picture of how things are here through the warm people of this amazing fishing town. I visited the wonderful bayside art gallery of Anchoridge, which collects and displays local art from the talented folk. Just walking into this place gave the feeling of our humble beginnings from our garage gallery/library in KZN. Glynn Patterson – collector and curator of Anchoridge – was very excited and resourceful in sharing this history with us.
So, Glynn, can your firstly start by telling us a bit about yourself
Well, my name is Glynn Patterson and I am working as a volunteer to try and get publicity and funding for Anchorage Ard Glass. This space is run by the village, for the village and is for all who would like to share our rich history with the widest audience possible. We have a small charity called Street Safe. This initiative encourages teenage volunteers to visit senior citizens dearly to offer to make them a cup of tea, read the newspaper and/or to help with small chores. These small actions have greatly enhanced the sense of community in the village of Ard Glass
What is the purpose behind Anchorage?
Anchorage Ard Glass facility will provide 24/7 office space for Street Safe and a place for senior citizens to visit. We are installing a common-room for our teenage kids where they will have free internet access through wi-fi, TV, a pool table etc. to enjoy together. All these activities are funded by Ard Glass people with no 3rd Party support. We urge willing supporters to keep tabs with this movement in order to get it as much publicity as is within reach.
You are showing and preserving some artefacts from Game of Thrones, what is your involvement with them?
The majority of filming for Game of Thrones took place in historic sites within a few miles of Ard Glass. There are 10 film sets from GOT that I know of with in a 5-mile radius of the village. Because of this, many local people are in GOT. Even the local sweetshop owner – who is also an extra the actual dire-wolves from the first series of Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones tourism is a new and exciting development and brings many tourists to our area. It has created employment and increased the job opportunity for the people of Ard Glass who are taken to become tourists or tour guide for tourists from all over the world. Here in Anchoridge we have the first throne and many other actual props for visitors to enjoy.
What is your inspiration and why do you do what you do?
Well Dumi, I have had a successful career career in business and before my next commercial project starts I wanted to help my friends in Ard Glass. When I heard about the Anchoridge project I thought it was the perfect opportunity to put my skills to good use. I have officially been here for over a month now. I had initially planned to give the project a few hours per week but now I am here 14 hours, 7 days a week and I can honestly say it is some of the best fun I have , and I must add, it is extremely fulfilling. There is real good happening here and it is a privilege to lead it.
We also see that Northern Ireland has a rich history of Vikings, who are they and what is notable about them in relation with the country’s background?
Well, I haven’t got much knowledge about Vikings, however, there are 2 Viking societies in within 10 miles of Ard Glass. Both have built their own Viking long-ships and love to re-enact Viking history. People of Ard Glass know their maritime history and and the Vikings are a big part of it. Not only did Vikings raid churches and monasteries, they also settled in south-east Northern Ireland. Famous norse-men such as Magnus Barelegs are still celebrated in song & verse and even with festival dedicated to them.
What led you to choose art as a means of contributing to the community?
Whilst I am not an artist myself passionately interested in the art & culture and talents of the locality. I find it so astonishing that so many nationally and internationally recognised practitioners live within a few miles of the village of Ard Glass. These guys are as passionate as I am to see Anchoridge succeed and have all offered to host art-classes and workshops for kids, tourists and visiting art-clubs using art. With our new Facebook page we plan to publicise all their work as much as possible.
Would you like to share any words in closing this lovely conversation we have had today?
The passion for the Anchoridge to succeed is tangible in Ard Glass and further afield. We are a non-political, non-denominational but we enjoy a Christian ethos. Everyone involved with Anchoridge benefits in some way or another. We are challenged by having no third-party or outside support but this has actually made us more resourceful and even more determined to succeed. The Anchoridge has only been in existence for a matter of weeks and but its ethos and motivation have attracted a lot of attention and I believe the model could be copied by any society wishing to improve its environment, for the benefit of youth and senior citizens simultaneously.
Please connect with us through these available platforms
Our email is: anchorageardglass @ hotmail. com
Facebook page is Anchorage Ardglass.
Calls us on +44 78 311 850